WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE HOMELESS
Updated: Apr 15
People who are temporarily homeless because of divorce, loss of job, injury, etc. need temporary housing until they regain their footing. Private sources exist for this purpose. The City’s role should be to connect them to the resources. That would be a good job for the Office of Community Care. They need quick help and the City does not usually act in a timely manner.
Homeless encampments are another matter. Seattle allowed homeless encampments to flourish. It has not turned out well. Google “Seattle is Dying” and watch the video if you don’t know what I mean.
There are many people who believe that we should help the hard-core, drug and alcohol addicted homeless to be more comfortable while they continue to destroy themselves. This is wrong. It enables them to continue their downward path and it entices others into the lifestyle. It is no accident that the Office of Homeless Solutions has a $12 million dollar a year budget and the number of homeless people increases every year.
The hard-core homeless need an intervention. The simple way to do that is to arrest them when they trespass, or steal, openly use drugs, etc. Sentence them to two weeks in jail. While they are in jail, the television plays motivational videos and life histories of people who once were homeless and got out of the lifestyle. At the end of two weeks, give them a shower, a shave, a haircut and new clothes from the Salvation Army thrift store and buy them a month’s stay at a shelter. Every morning, vans from the local day labor companies pull up and offer them a chance to work. If they want to get out they can. If not, you do it again the next time they violate the law.
At worst, they have a better bed and better food than they had at the camp. They just have to face the annoyance of getting sober and watching motivational videos. At best, they go to work and provide for themselves, like the rest of us. The solution to homelessness is to get people out of the lifestyle; not to make them more comfortable while they are in it.
For those still in camp, two cops and a drug sniffing dog should walk through the camp every day at random times.